What’s the best messenger or communication platform for small businesses?

30 November 2018 by Mark Williams

Did you know that 86 percent of employees and executives cite a lack of collaboration and communication as a reason for workplace failures? In today’s digital-driven world, with plenty of messenger and communication platforms to choose from, there’s no reason for your workplace to be uncollaborative.

So, what tools could your small business be using?

In this blog post, we’ll talk you through four of the best platforms for workplace communication, all of which can be used across any device, anywhere.

1. Skype for Business

As one of the most widely used video conferencing software in the world, you may have used Skype at some point in your life.

Microsoft’s Skype for Business, however, is designed with your small business in mind. Certain functions, such as the ability to annotate PowerPoint presentations and use interactive ‘whiteboards’ allow your employees to not only communicate effectively, but collaborate, too.

Better still, if video conferencing isn’t your thing, the software allows you to privately message colleagues, too.

2. Microsoft Teams

Used by over 200,000 organisations worldwide, the customisable platform, Microsoft Teams, offers benefits that Slack messenger-orientated platform simply cannot.

Although the program offers similar chat and video conferencing functionalities, it also boasts the ability to work alongside your other Office 365 collaborative tools. Ultimately, this means that you can chat in real time whilst collaboratively looking over a document from Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, or any other Microsoft program.

What’s more, as it’s built on Microsoft’s hyperscale, secure, enterprise-grade cloud, you can rest assured that your communications are safe from cyber threats.

3. Slack

As of this year, Slack is home to approximately eight million daily active users, with three million of those being paid customers.

Therefore, to say that the platform is popular would be an understatement. But, what makes the tool such a favourite amongst workplaces?

By using this messenger-type tool, your small business can benefit from:

  • Intuitive, easy public and private messaging
  • Segregated channels for different work topics or projects
  • Quick and simple video conferencing functions
  • The ability to share documents to individuals or groups
  • Useful, integrated reminders and bots, such as Polly (an app to help you set up simple polls)

4. Google Hangouts

There have been over a billion installations of Google Hangouts on Android devices alone, as of 2015.

With its video conferencing capabilities, intuitive chat functionalities and integration with ‘Google Apps for Work’, users can expect a similar experience to that of Microsoft Teams. However, there are a few key differences:

  • Users can make and receive phone calls, using Google Voice
  • The platform offers ‘webcasting’, which allows your employees to live stream or record video meetings on YouTube or Google+

Picking from the communication contenders

At the end of the day, when it boils down to picking the right messenger or communication platform for your small business, it’s important to align your decision with what your workplace needs.

If, for example, you offer agile working initiatives, investing in a platform that offers integration with cloud-based applications might be best.

To really understand the capability of these tools, however, why not give them a try yourself? And be sure to let us know how you get on.

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